Key points in Leicester City’s 1-0 win over Wolves, as Jamie Vardy’s penalty kick secured Brendan’s sixth straight win in all competitions on Rodgers’s side
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Here are five of the top talking points from the King Power Stadium.
When Brendan Rodgers’ team recorded nine wins last season, it was an incredible run, but everything went to their liking.
That was not the case this time. They had injuries and not just a few here and there. Given the number of players and the key players they had on the sidelines, they will at times struggle to maintain social distance in the treatment room.
Then there is the schedule. Last year, with no European commitments, City had weeks to prepare for the Games. This already feels like a long-forgotten luxury in the current season, in which the Europa League has been squeezed in to integrate it into a shortened season.
Then there was the overwhelming end of last season and the fall from the Champions League seats that threatened to hang over City as they entered the new term.
Nevertheless, they are at the top of the Premier League with eight games played.
The staff and players won’t see it as such with more than three quarters of the season left to play, but being at the top now is an accomplishment in itself.
Hopefully there is a wonderful winter and spring to follow this amazing fall, but anyway, City’s best start to the season so far should be thoroughly enjoyed.
With the victory over the wolves from 12 meters away, City is likely to be classified as a « penalty dealer » by opposition fans who want to denounce their successes in the preseason.
City has received eight penalties in eight Premier League games. This breaks the record of Manchester United, who played 16 games to score eight free kicks last season.
Only the first of City’s eight was against Wolves – Max Kilman could do little to avoid Dennis Praet’s powerful cross on his arm – controversial. There could be no complaints about the others.
Sure, the current laws, with changes to the handball rule and VAR addressing minor indiscretions, are the main reason for increasing the penalties, but City deserves it too.
They oblige men to step into the box first, with James Justin moving forward from the right full-back to win the second against the Wolves while showing speed and skill to pull fouls.
The two penalties were City’s only shots on goal in the first half, yet it was possibly the best 45 minutes of the season.
Sure, it was her most dominant one. It always takes a couple of weeks for teams to find their rhythm at the start of a new campaign, but City has shown that they are now good at their groove.
City was so good at it and so good at keeping wolves at bay that the visitors did not make a single attempt in the first phase.
City, meanwhile, has tossed it around with intent, complexity and confidence, with Youri Tielemans, Dennis Praet and James Maddison in particular showing a dexterity on the ball.
It was a first-half performance where every player knew their role and every player fully believed in the approach. Without a well-defended line of defense from Wolves, City would have done more and would have had a healthier lead in the second half.
Rodgers said he was delighted with the different ways City have won games this season, and there was another path to three points on Sunday.
Wolves have gained a reputation under Nuno Espirito Santo for being a team that will get strong after the break. Hence, City was unlikely to dominate the second period like the first.
What it took was a determined display to defend the one-goal advantage and it was done superbly.
Wolves had no chance with gold rims and the only outstanding rescue Kasper Schmeichel had to provide came from an attempt by Ruben Neves, who, if he had found the top corner, could only be applauded.
City ripped through teams with ruthlessness, they beat others on break, they controlled games with serenity and now they have dug deep to keep a normally dangerous opponent at bay. That’s a good sign.
If fans could attend, Wesley Fofana’s name would have been on his lips as he left the stadium after every City game in the past month.
There were well-timed tackles and interceptions, there were headers from the penalty area, there were sprints and shoulder races to keep up with, and then the opponents were thrown off the ball. And that’s just in defense.
Back to the right of the last three, Fofana is free to move around and he took this opportunity. It’s a great sight to see the teen galloping off defense, pulling past players, and putting City on his front foot. He does it with such serenity that it is unfathomable that his career is still in its infancy.
When his former manager at Saint-Etienne, Claude Puel, said he could become one of the best defenders in the world, few expected him to make progress towards that description anytime soon.
Leicester City F. . C.. . , Premier League, AS Saint-Étienne
World news – GB – Obstacles overcome in the second great autumn with Fofana in a perfect role
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– Leicester City surmounts obstacles for the second great fall with Fofana in the perfect role
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